Monday, February 18, 2008

18 Months And Also 1 1/2 Years!

Just like that, Paprika turned 18 months old on Saturday! Mr. Mustard had to work, so it was just us girls all day. We had fun, though. We woke up and did errands- mostly just mailing off my Ebay items. Then we came home, had lunch and watched a little Barney (Paprika's favorite dinosaur). Then we took the jogging stroller to the park, where we met a bunch of other babies. Paprika was her usual fun self, and insisted on swinging in only the big kid swings (she prefers them over the baby swings now). On the walk home, we talked to my mom on the phone, which was great- it was wonderful catching up with her and hearing how her foot is healing. Then we did some drawing with crayon, and Paprika drew in her Valentine's Day card for daddy. She's starting to really love drawing now, which is a change from a month or so ago.

I can't believe she's 1 1/2 years old already! Her vocabulary continues to explode, and she says all sorts of simple sentences and complex words. When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing she says now is "Where's Barney?"- after watching a Barney video only once or twice, she became hooked and now refers to him all the time. Paprika still has not watched any tv besides a few kid's videos here and there. We're hoping to keep her pretty commercial-free. There's just something about Barney, though, that she has latched onto and he makes her so happy, so I do give in sometimes. Not every moment can be filled with books, blocks, and drawing, I guess!

I forgot to mention awhile back that we have started incorporating different languages into Paprika's life. I have been speaking Spanish to her off and on since she was three months old. I recently bought her a music cd of French children's songs, and we play it in the car. She loves it. I also bought a three dvd set of French immersion programming for babies and toddlers. We are learning French together, it seems. I have also watched Plaza Sesamo with Paprika, which is the Spanish version of Sesame Street. A lot of times, we'll have it on in the background while we're playing or doing things around the house. I plan on also exposing Paprika to German early on- there's a kid's dvd course I am going to get soon, and Mr. Mustard will be working on exposing her to German- he is conversant enough to teach her a thing or two. Even though I know that watching dvds and speaking a little here and there to Paprika is not going to make her fluent, I believe (as do researchers) that just exposing children to a language will help them be better able to learn it later on in life- they absorb the sounds and the words become part of their subconscious.

I've already been looking into bilingual schooling for Paprika. There is a German preschool near us that just opened two half days/week for ages 3 and up. We also have an excellent Japanese immersion school near us in Pasadena, and then there's also a fantastic French immersion school. So, this is all just the beginning. I find it all pretty exciting.

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